Poodle helps out baby squirrels
OXFORD (AP) - The owner of a toy poodle that nursed three baby squirrels back to health says that her pet is dealing well with a basic human emotion -- empty-nest syndrome.
One of the squirrels, however, is struggling, said Frank Newell of Warrenton, the animal-rehabilitation specialist who is now caring for the animals. The other two are doing well, he said.
The poodle, 4-year-old Pixie, was a little upset at first when the squirrels were sent Saturday to Newell, said Gail Latta of Oxford.
"She kept sniffing the box where we had them and whined a little bit," Latta said in a phone interview Monday.
Dog biscuits seemed to help Pixie's recovery, Latta said.
Pixie nursed the squirrels for two weeks after the tree where they lived was cut down. Latta first tried other methods of feeding them, including using nursing bottles for dogs, but they didn't work. She then turned to Pixie, who had recently had her own pups.
The puppies had been sold, but Pixie was still able to nurse.
"I figured I'd better try something different," Latta said. "Otherwise, I was going to lose them. And she took to them real good."
Latta said she also had a hard time turning over the squirrels to someone else but did so because she learned she might be violating state regulations by keeping wildlife in her home. So she gave the squirrels to Newell, who will raise them until they are ready to be released on his property.